By Olubunmi Adeniyi
Lagos June 23, 2012: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (OAU) has established a Research and Education Network (REN) to provide data communication networks and services for educational institutions in Osun State, an initiative the citadel of learning hopes will prepare its students and lectures to effectively participate in the knowledge economy.
The Information Technology Unit (INTECU) of OAU says it designed the programme to provide access to decent bandwidth that enables students and lecturers in the state to research, exchange ideas online and work with peers elsewhere in the world.
INTECU says the programme seeks to further its supremacy of OAU as the foremost Information and Communication Technology (ICT) University in Nigeria
Commenting on the new development, the Vice-Chancellor, OAU, Bamitale Idowu who was represented by his Deputy, Ayobami Salami describes ICT as a means for achieving the greatest results in all human endeavors.
He commended the INTECU team for fashioning out the novel initiative that would serve all the institutions of higher learning in Osun State.
Beneficiaries of the network include Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife; Osun State University Osogbo; Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu; The Polytechnic, Ile-Ife and the Federal Polytechnic, Ede.
Others include Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke, College of Education, Ilesa; Ife Business School, Centre for Distance Learning, Moro; Centre for Gender Studies, NACETEM, ARCSTEE and OAU International School.
Chief Medical Director, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Sanya Adejuyibe, expressed the readiness of the OAUTHC to be fully involved and partner with the INTECU so that the hospital would be ICT-driven in all their administrative processes and procedures.
Adejuyibe applauds the brain behind the REN scheme for finding time and using their mental resources for the sake of promoting the overall interest of humanity.
He commends the scheme for making OAUTHC the venue of the launch of the programme and also for including it in the REN family of Osun/Ife axis.
Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) and the leader of the Osun/Ife REN, Kunle Kehinde, highlights the importance of REN, saying it had been designed to provide cheaper connectivity to member institutions.
Kehinde said the initiative can also provide global sharing of network services in e-education, e-science as well as virtual meetings and teaching facilities.
He also lists provision of centralized training, capacity building and advisory services to the member-institutions; facilitate favorable pricing for internet access and software licences through collective bargaining, as some of the benefits to be derived from being a member of REN.